Should brands wave their national flags?

We love Really Useful Boxes. They’re really useful. You can get them in loads of colours, not just bog standard office grey. You can get transparent ones so you don’t have to look inside when you’re trying to remember where you put something. The lids stay on with clips. Their small boxes fit inside their bigger boxes.

If ever a product had the perfect name, this is that product. What a brand identity. Wish we’d thought of it.

So we got a load of them. One had this A4 sheet of paper inside it.


‘That’s nice,’ we thought. ‘Made in the UK. Brilliant and British. More reasons to buy more boxes.’ We found this in another box.














Hmmm. So they also love France do they? That’s OK, we love France too. But where are these boxes made? Our French isn’t that good but we’re pretty sure that this insert should say, ‘Plus des solutions.’ So perhaps they’re British after all.

If you’re going to wave a flag, pick one and stick with it. Or put it away.

We looked closely at the boxes, and then at the website. The boxes have an EU sign embedded into them, along with the recycling badges, but don’t specify which country. And there’s no clue online about where they’re made. There’s a ‘choose country’ page where you can click on 13 waving flags to select the one you want.

Guess what? Every country’s website has its own flag on the national home page, aligning its local branding to the nation you’re in. So we’re none the wiser.


We’ll still be buying them. You can never have too many Really Useful Boxes.

This weekend there’ll be a lot of flag waving for the royal wedding. But perhaps it’s time to concentrate on being brilliant at what we do and forget about nationality.